March 5. Slumdog CORP.

The Dharavi slum is allegedly the largest in Asia. Ten million people live here. It is the slum of the ‘slumdog millionaire’ movie. But this slum seems totally peaceful to me. Interactions, however chaotic at first sight, go smoothly, people are smiling. It might be just the surface, of course. We walk around through the narrow alleys that remind me of the refugee camp in Beirut. We see people’s tiny dwellings, toilet bedroom and kitchen integrated in the same 4 square meter concrete box. There is a public borehole toilet – 1 rupee entry – and people do hold it in order to save that rupee.

CORP is doing a very good job and we are glad we come to support them here. We visit some educational programs, and attend a rehearsal of a play for women’s day. I hope to get the script of that play so that it could be adopted by our friends in Africa. Yeon has her hands painted with Mehendi, that is one of the skills they are teaching here. After a couple of months course the girls can go out and offer ther Mehendi skills to earn some money. We also visit a tailoring workshop that is in need of more sewing machines – we decide to donate one.

We have invited the other couchsurfers to come too, but I guess the concept of Charity Travel is too strange for them. Please comment this post by answering this question: is it such a far off concept?

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Kamiel Choi

Dutch philosopher and poet, sometimes sharing thoughts on the internet.

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